Theater Groups to Descend on Acre for Israel's Annual Fringe Fest

Main goal of the festival is to bring artists with a new, original and alternative language of expression.

Theater groups from across the world are scheduled to arrive in Acre over the next few weeks to participate in an especially festive version of the annual Acre theater festival, marking its 30th anniversary.

The Israel Fringe Theatre Festival is scheduled to present 450 performances of 72 shows between October 4 and 7.

The main goal of the festival, directed by Smadar Ya'aron and Moni Yossef, is to bring artists with a new, original and alternative language of expression. The Festival encourages productions that test new borders and new scopes of theatrical concepts, as well as interdisciplinary works with an original approach to directing, use of space and relations between performers.

For this end, the organizers say they have selected foreign performers who can rejuvenate and jump-start local creative forces.

As in previous years, the festival will retain its competitive format, choosing the best performance out of 10 finalists, selected from a list of 160 contenders.

The 10 shows chosen by the festival's artistic committee form the core of the festival. The committee and the artistic director guide the production process of the finalists. In addition, the festival hosts guest and street performances, workshops and international performances.

The shows will come from places including Japan, Australia and the U.S.; performers are coming from Russia, among others. Thanks to an exchange program signed with European Union festivals, the event will also include theater groups from the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland.

Acre's uniqueness is one of the festival's natural resources. The event, which will be held in 30 different venues across the old city of Acre, has a budget of NIS 3.6 million, including NIS 1.2 million from the Culture Ministry. The city is contributing NIS 1.1 million, while the Tourism Ministry gave NIS 200,000.

In addition, the festival is supported by other public and private bodies, including the national lottery. Revenues from ticket sales are expected to be around NIS 300,000. The budget itself has an NIS 300,000 hole from funds pledged by the organization Omanut La'am. Tickets will cost between NIS 30 and NIS 70.